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Fed Up With Mind Games? Check Out The Place, Ol' Sport

October 11, 1990|ROBYN NORWOOD

It's one of those bar names that is perfect for obscuring your whereabouts--or for starting an Abbott-and-Costello runaround.

Hey, why don't we go to The Place and watch the game? You can wear whatever you have on .

Yeah, OK, but which place?

You know, The Place, in Corona del Mar, across from the Port Theatre.

Yeah, I think I know the place you mean. But what's it called?

The Place! That little bar with the blue awning? You know, that volleyball player , Steve Timmons , goes there sometimes? And Chuck Finley, the Angels pitcher?

I know, but what's the name of it!

I'm telling you, it's The Place!

Mike Flamson and his basketball buddies have been hanging out at the modest little bar tucked among Corona del Mar's toney shops and restaurants for 12 years.

"You ever want to sell, you just call us," they used to tell the owner.

"Make me an offer," he'd say, and laugh at their ridiculous figure when they did.

Then one day, the bar really was up for sale.

"We sat down and said, 'We're gonna do it,' " Flamson said. "When push came to shove, it was 'Mike, you're gonna do it.' "

So he did, and Flamson and his wife, Katie, have been in the bar business for three years.

Mike, who coaches the freshman basketball team at Corona del Mar High School, cooks during the day, and often is there at night as well.

The menu? There's the Flam Burger, Mike's special bacon-avocado cheeseburger, and the Philly cheese steak, known as the Charles Barkley, and the chicken burger--known as the Roberto Duran .

Make no mistake, this is an all sports bar.

But it is one that is a good mixing ground for the sexes, and not a male-bonding club.

There are three satellite dishes and seven small TV screens. The walls are decorated with sports memorabilia--a jersey that belonged to Timmons, the Olympic volleyball star, a surfboard, the requisite batting helmets.

During the day, it's a good spot for a casual lunch. Weekday evenings, it's a gathering place for recreation-league softball and basketball teams seeking to replenish their lost fluids. On weekends, you'll find everything from young people clad in cocktail dresses and ties to the movers and shakers of the beachwear business.

"You walk in, and you basically know everybody," Flamson said. "When a new team comes in, people say, 'Hey, where are you guys from?' "

The Place (Mike's Sports Bar), 2920 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar . Open daily, 10 a.m. to midnight. (714) 644-0210.

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